What you looking at, you Final Fantasy reject?
Ben is just your typical teenager – loud, obnoxious and always getting himself into hot water. Coming from a troubled household, it’s no wonder Ben’s been on the wrong side of the tracks lately. Ben thinks that his troubles can't possibly get any worse. How wrong he is...
Mysteriously teleported to the world of Draconica, the homeland of the Dragons, Ben gets caught up in a invasion by the Baalarian Empire – who are hell-bent on capturing him. But what did Ben ever do to upset them?
With no idea how he got here – and with intentions only on getting home, Ben embarks on a fantastical journey. Joining forces with the Dragonkin sisters Daniar and Erowin, Ben must help them take down the Empire before their dark grasp tightens across the land.
Little does Ben realise that his role in this battle is far more vital than he realises – and that his coming here was no accident. So he embarks on a journey that will change his life forever.
Written by Dan Wright and featuring anime artwork by Alexis M. Centeno, Trapped on Draconica is an epic fantasy adventure that is well aware of the Fantasy Kitchen Sink and other story conventions.
The Tropes of Draconica
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Discussed by Ben, "Girls are all the same: You claim to like Nice Guys but you can't resist a bad boy' however it's defied by Daniar, who honestly can't stand them.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Baalaria captures Brittania's capital. Team Good flees and regroups and Baalaria captures their new base with the Eastern Alliance.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence:
- Erowin dies and becomes an angel, a being much more powerful than a dragokin.
- Dronor dies and becomes a spirit, but his level of power doesn't change. Likely because he's already the single most powerful being in the setting.
- Babies Ever After: Ben dreams that Daniar is pregnant during her wedding to Kalak.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Sort of.
- Cain and Abel: At the start of the story, Daniar and Rana are not on speaking terms; Daniar and Zarracka are full-on enemies.
- The Cavalry: When Team Good is captured and helpess the Eastern Alliance army arrives to save the day.
- Character Development: Ben begins as selfish and somewhat cowardly, goes on to show that he has a good heart, and eventually becomes brave enough to angrily defy Gothon and give up his freedom for the sake of his friends.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Subverted. Daniar busts a drug runner early on in the narrative and he shows up later working for the Big Bad and out for revenge. Daniar busts him again without any trouble then or later.
- Kazebar is mentioned very early on in the story, but only pops up in the last thirty-or-so pages.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Daniar's rematch with a drug runner-turned soldier lasts about five seconds. The narration describes it as 'the shortest battle of her life'.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Team Good goes through a lot of hardship, a lot of pain, and a lot of suffering. Each one of them had a moment where they would have given up if not for the encouragement of the group. They all earn a happing ending.
- Darkest Hour: After Yusef betrays the Eastern Alliance this trope occurs. The only remaining military threat to Baalaria is gone, Daniar is lethaly poisoned, Ben and Kalak captured, and all their possible allies refused or tapped. Then Rana shows up.
- Doing In the Scientist: Early one of Alister's advisors say they 'stopped believing in magic years ago' and insists that the dragokin powers are not magic despite being bestowed on the princesses by a dragon god. Shortly afterward, Gothon uses teleportation magic to launch a sneak attack. Its purpose is to capture Ben and steal his definitely magical powers to travel between worlds.
- Elemental Powers: The dragokin sisters.
- Evil Plan:
- Gothon conquers one kingdom after another in order to enforce a uniform peace. He also wants to capture Ben so he can save his wife.
- he's actually being manipulated by Kazebar. He told Gothon that Ben's soul could revive her so he could get his hands on the boy and steal his latent power to travel to other worlds and become a god.
- Five-Bad Band:
- Big Bad: Gothon, the Evil Overlord
- The Dragon: Taurok, the commander in chief that leads Gothon's armies.
- Evil Genius: Lucia, a dwarf who has the magic that Gothon and his armies use in their conquest
- The Brute: Mordak, a mindless assassin who lives only to kill those his master tells him to.
- The Dark Chick: Zarracka, a princess who fills roles from consulting, to spying, to front line fighting.
- Five Races:Discussed early on by Ben, who asks about them. Although Erowin shoots down most of them, they are actually represented. Elves are present but they function more or less like the mundane humans, a breed of intelligent tigers are created to be pets (check for closer to earth sensibility and inner strength traits) Dragokin for High Men, Erowin herself becomes an angel and clearly more powerful than anyone else.
- Four Is Death: Inverted. Erowin is the fourth dragokin sister and was blessed with the power to heal in addition to her elemental powers. She is the only one of the four to die and then come back from the dead.
- Happily Ever After: Everyone on Team Good gets one, including Gothon
- Ben reconciles with his mother, reconnects with his father (who is out of jail and turning over a new leaf) and meets cute a reincarnated Erowin.
- Daniar and Kalak are married with a kid on the way.
- Rana marries Taurok and they set about rebuilding the Baalarian Empire
- Gothon is escorted to the afterlife by his beloved wife.
- Hope Spot: Ironically it's the You Shall Not Pass! performed by the 300 Leondians. They crush a Baalarian army without lossing a single soldier. The Eastern Alliance believes they can win against Baalaria and end the war in their favor. Then Yusef sells them out.
- I Want Them Alive: Gothon insists that Ben and Kalak be brought to him alive. He knows that Kalak is his son, and Lucia has convinced him that sacrificing Ben can bring his dead wife back to life.
- Kill 'em All: Defied. Erowin comes down from Heaven to personally make sure it doesn't happen.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Done twice. Kalak was the Emperor's son, Ben was Kazebar's. Ben even lampshades it.
- The Man Behind the Man: Kazebar, who possessed Lucia years ago and through him manipulates Gothon.
- Not a Date: Ben goes to a romantic play with Erowin and no one else. He is the only one not aware that this is a date.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Daniar is The Cape for her kingdom; catching poachers, busting up drug smuggling and setting a moral example for civilians. This is why she's on hand to save Ben early on.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: The Eastern Alliance Arc. After crossing the desert and finding the alliance and fighting them, it all comes to nothing because of Yusef.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man:
- Discussed by Ben along with its opposite. He thinks girls only claim to like nice guys when they're really only interested in bad boys.
- Daniar can't stand the arrogant Kalak, until his mask slips she finds out he's better than he lets on. She's all over him after that.
- Rana thinks all men are worthless worms, until she meets Taruok. His nobility wins her over to the point she gladly becomes his empress shortly after meeting him.
- The Reveal:
- Gothon's wife is is Dead All Along and he actidentally killed her in a squabble and deluded himself into thinking otherwise.
- Lucia has been possessed by Kazebar for the entire story and has manipulated Gothon to get his hands on Ben who was thrown into another world by Dronor to keep the power to travel between worlds from being abused.
- Ben and Erowin are twins and their father is the Man Behind the Man, Kazebar.
- Unwitting Pawn: All of Team Evil is this for Kazebar.
- Whole Plot Reference: The "Eastern Alliance" arc bears a stunning likeness to 300.